Hes helped lead hundreds of West Virginia University student fans in cheers. Shes a humanitarian whos helped raised thousands of dollars to assist Katrina victims. Together, Jeremy Hatcher and Lisa Costello are WVU s 2006 Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer.
The winnersalong with Most Loyal Mountaineerswere announced during Mountaineer Week halftime festivities of Saturdays (Nov. 11) WVU -Cincinnati football game at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer are students who epitomize the gold-and-blue spirit of a true WVU Mountaineer, said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week coordinator.
Costello, a senior biology major from Weirton, has made a college career of helping others.
In 2004, she and the Student Health Advisory Board launched”Dollars for Disaster”a University-wide fund-raising campaign for victims of the Asian tsunamiand organized a community forum that brought WVU experts, students and community leaders together to discuss the dangers of landmines shifted by the disaster and concerns about missing family and friends.
After Hurricane Katrina, she mobilized campus organizations, raising thousands in disaster relief for the Red Cross and sending messages of support for evacuees throughaYouve Got Mailcampaign.
Costellos leadership was also felt following last years West Virginia mine tragedy. With her assistance, the board worked with representatives from the Center for Civic Engagement and University administration to coordinate outreach efforts to the minersfamilies.
Costello has served as president of the Student Health Advisory Board and chief-of-staff for the Student Government Association, assisting with the planning and assessment of numerous student initiatives.
She is a member of the Institute for Human Dignity; Mountain Honorary; Alpha Epsilon Delta, WVU s premedical honor society; Italian American Organization; and National Exemplary Scholars in Service.
Also an accomplished athlete, Costello was an invited walk-on on the 2003-04 WVU womens basketball team, an experience which she reflected on in her Ms. Mountaineer application essay.
It was a privilege to wear the gold and blue because of the pride, commitment and determination associated with those colors,she wrote.However, this spirit was not just represented in my basketball jersey. Through my involvement, I have been afforded the opportunity to interact with various administrators, faculty members, community leaders and fellow students, all working toward a common goal of making our University, community and world a better place.
Costello was named a Distinguished West Virginian by Gov. Joe Manchin and received the Universitys Kenneth D. Gray Student Leadership Award.
Hatcher, a senior environmental protection major from Ripley, has been supporting Mountaineer athletics from the sidelines since he was in middle school.
He has attended every WVU home football game and many away events during his four years at the University.
Now an executive director of the Mountaineer Maniacsthe largest student group on campus and premiere student group for Mountaineer athletics, he can often be seen
wearing his signature gold-and-blue outfit on the 50-yard line behind the Maniacs sign at Milan Puskar Stadium and promoting good sportsmanship.
Hatcher previously served as a Maniacs executive board member and Greek relations officer. During the four years hes been active in the group, membership has grown to a record 3,800 students.
Also active in the Greek system, he is an executive officer of Pi Kappa Alpha and formerly served as public relations and community service chair.
Giving back to the community has always been a priority for Hatcher, who has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House, WVU Dollars for Disasterhurricane disaster relief fund-raiser, Boys and Girls Club fund-raisers, Christian Help, Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners (BOPARC) softball league, Rifle Team Gun Bash and a Dorsey Knob community project.
This commitment to community and peoples pride in the state, Hatcher said, are what make Mountaineers so unique.
In my opinion, the Mountaineer spirit is demonstrated by our pride in the state, the people and WVU ,he wrote in his Mr. Mountaineer application essay.It makes our state one of the best in the nation.
Mountaineers do not care what clothes another person wears or the amount of money a person might have,he added.In their eyes, a Mountaineer is a Mountaineerwhether youre the governor of the state or a coal miner or a WVU student.
In 2005, Hatcher was recognized as the WVU Student Organization Services Student Worker of the Year and the Mountaineer Week Spirit Award winner. During the previous year, he was named Pi Kappa Alphas Community Service Man of the Year.
He currently works for the West Virginia Water Research Institute at WVU , where he does water sampling and studies the efficiency of passive treatments of acid mine drainage.
Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer candidates, all WVU seniors or professional students, were nominated by a student organization and completed an application and essay about what makes a Mountaineers spirit unique.
Other finalists for 2006 Ms. Mountaineer were Kelley Burd, Bristol; Christal Kirk, Clendenin; Sarah Lovell, Martinsburg; and Hannah Swecker, Beverly.
Mr. Mountaineer finalists included Jason Gross, Morgantown; Wesley Page, Westerville, Ohio; Jason Pizatella, Fairmont; and Matt, Schessler, Charleston.